The research work of the Medical Device Technology Group is focussed upon the medical uses of microwave radiation. Past work has seen the development of Microwave Endometrial Ablation (MEA) which is a minimally invasive treatment for the gynaecological condition known as Mennorhagia. This system has been developed into a commercial product which in 2002 was recommended by NICE for use in the NHS. Worldwide more than 50,000 patients have successfully been treated by MEA.
In the field of Onclogy the group is developing a microwave procedure for the treatment of primary and secondary liver cancer. This involves the use of specially designed microwave applicators to destroy tumours by heating. Applicators have been produced for percutaneous, laparoscopic and open surgical use. Recently, the open surgical system received the CE mark and will shortly be available for general use in the NHS. So far around 100 liver patients have been treated in clinical trials with very promising results. Shortly we hope to extend this work to include microwave ablation of secondary bone tumours.
In order to undertake this work we require an in depth understanding of the physics of heat transport through living tissue as well as the electromagnetics of microwave design. To this end we have an ongoing programme of research which seeks to advance our understanding of tissue properties through measurements and computer modelling. We make use of commercial finite element simulation software and also our own in-house computer simulations.
- Applications of microwave to surgery
- Microwave Endometrial Ablation